BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS fits in a lot of YA paranormal romance cliches while somehow also managing to be very unique and totally creepy. The creative mythology really gives a lot of oomph to what could be a very flat and boring YA paranormal romance.
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE is a story about the complexity of relationships, the economy of love and hurt that exists within families. It spins a fairytale without readers realizing, we stare at the magician’s right hand while the left builds whole new worlds around us.
MER was a quick read with lovely art, a story that held my attention, but it left me with a number of questions at the end of the story.
Well, THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING was nothing like what I expected it to be. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book, and I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations of what it should have been, based on all the praise it had.
ROSEBLOOD is, for lack of a better word, a bit weird. Billed as a young adult retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, it reads more like a sequel to its inspiration, rather than a retelling. Dark and mysterious, ROSEBLOOD has a lot going for it, but it just didn’t live up to what I felt it could have been.
In the original description I read of THE ARTISANS, this crucial sentence was at the end: “The Artisans is a delectably rich, layered and dark YA Southern Gothic inspired by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic Beauty and the Beast.” Generally anything promising a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (my favorite fairytale) is an instant win for me. And while I can definitely see the parallels between THE ARTISANS and Beauty and the Beast, THE ARTISANS had quite a bit more going on, that in fact, at times I felt like there was almost too much going on.
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray is a charming, romantic adventure across multiple universes, though as with many fantastical stories built on a vague, pseudo-scientific premise, the souffle falls if you poke at it. As long as you’re the type of reader who can ignore inconsistencies in the rules of made-up technologies, Marguerite’s dance between dimensions in pursuit of revenge, love, and loss should spark your imagination.
THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher is Ordinary People-meets-Maleficent – and if that sounds like a strange combination, that’s because it is. Almost all of the information given in the blurb on the back of the book is actually kept from the reader for more than a hundred pages, and Elora’s motives for attending a human high school are extremely vague. Instead of a faerie war, we mostly get Taylor’s still-fresh grief over losing his younger brother and the torment of his high school. Elora’s ‘otherness’ (not to mention otherworldly beauty) gives Taylor something to focus on aside from his family’s pain, but it’s a long time before the reader gets to know her endgame.
I keep trying time-travel stories and while LOOP is the first one that left me with a vague sense that I understood what was going on in the various timelines, they still end up giving me something of a headache while I read them. I can’t help wondering if my struggle to keep up with what’s going on keeps me from fully engaging with the plot itself. As far as LOOP goes, I think that’s only half of it.
Don’t be fooled into expecting the usual YA ghostly love story, SUBLIME will entrap those tender expectations and twist them into horror. While the characters are as charismatic as expected from the expert romance duo Christina Lauren, most of the ghostly promise of the plot ultimately fell flat.